"Alone" means different things to different people. It's not just about the absence of physical companionship and social interactions-- not even close. "Alone" can exist in a crowded room, or a busy office building, or a jam-packed house. "Alone" can exist... within your heart.
But how is it possible for someone to feel alone... while surrounded by so many people?
At the core of each of us, there's the basic need for understanding... the desire to feel understood by, and connected to, others. The absence of understanding leads to feelings of loneliness, rejection, and despair.
But why is it so important for us to feel understood?
Because within understanding... we find these words: "You are not alone." And I don't care who you are... you need to hear those words. No matter how strong, how confident, or how independent you may be... every single person needs to hear or feel that statement at least once in their lives.
And without it, we hear the following message loud and clear: "You ARE alone."
When it comes down to it, we all just want our feelings to be heard, respected, and validated. This allows us to feel connected, valued, and understood. And that allows us to feel loved.
Without understanding, we begin to feel disconnected from those around us. Without empathy, we begin to feel abandoned and isolated. Without compassion, support, and encouragement, our inner monologue begins to reflect our deepest, darkest fears: "No one understands me. No one cares about me. I must be crazy. I must deserve to be alone."
To everyone who has ever felt this way, I'm here to say: "You are not alone." I can promise you that someone, somewhere understands you. Someone cares about you. Someone wants to connect with you. Someone wants to love you through it...
Even if that someone --the only someone-- is a rescue dog.
Right now, you may feel desperate, heartbroken, and alone. You may feel like no one in the world could ever understand you. But at this very moment, there's a rescue dog sitting in an animal shelter... who knows exactly how you feel.
You may feel like no one --not one single person-- cares about your pain. There's a shelter dog who shares your fears.
And unlike any person in your life, that shelter dog will love you... more than he loves himself.
You don't have to feel so alone. Even if no one else has ever cared to be there for you, there's a shelter dog who's been waiting his entire life... just for you to show up. For a lifetime, he's been waiting for his chance to look at you, with eyes that say: "You are not alone."
And his only hope... is that one day, before he dies... you'll tell him the same.